It is called the Community Development Block Grant and is issued through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Cleveland has been a recipient since 2004, after being recognized as a federal Metropolitan Statistical Area. We have been able to leverage that annual grant, by adding some local money and other grants, to bring more housing, recreational opportunities, sidewalks and other benefits to some areas.
A current example is the work that began this winter to build a new Mosby Park swimming pool. Some CDBG money is included in funds that allows the old, leaking pool to be replaced with a new and better one, plus a new concession area and restrooms.
Another, continuing example is our partnership with nonprofit organizations. Some of the CDBG fund, plus the great contributions our citizens and volunteers make to Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, has allowed some well-deserving families to move into homes of their own.
The annual grant for Cleveland from CDBG is not a fixed amount. It can vary somewhat each year.
Over the past 10 years our city has been able to use over $3.2 million from CDBG, combined with other sources, to benefit neighborhoods and families in the targeted areas.
The grant has been used for drainage improvements, recreational facilities, sidewalks, codes enforcement, down payment assistance for some qualified families, infrastructure for a low to moderate income subdivision and more.
Detailed information about CDBG funding and how it is used can be accessed through your city's website, clevelandtn.gov. Click "Departments" and then go to "Development and Engineering Services" to learn more.
Every five years the city must write a new five-year consolidated plan outlining the goals for CDBG funds and how we plan to meet the goals.
The new year 2014 marks the end of our city's second five-year consolidated plan. Cleveland's grants director, Teresa Torbett, is seeking public comments as a new plan, for 2014 through 2018, is being written. Those comments can be mailed or emailed to her office at 185 Second St. NE, Cleveland, TN. 37311 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And watch for public hearing opportunities too.
We all thank the many nonprofit agencies that combine their strong support with our city's work to make us “The City With Spirit.”